If Dev Anand were today, he would have completed a century and set himself to become eternal again by the countdown. From before Hindi cinema was Eastman Color to its transition to the digital age, Dev Anand has graced the screen with praises of self-love. Yet the innocent and equally aspiring actor was loved by more than two generations of viewers as a banyan tree of joy. Trying to verify his eye-catching luck and artistry with today’s times..
A web series on Harshad Mehta is underway. Harshad Mehta is making money with great ambition. Everyone in the house is advising him to take care of his business, his wife is worried. Meanwhile, he says, “Risk hai to isk hai.” In another scene, he says, “Mera interview lenese pehle mere bare mein jaan lena, kya hai ki mujhe jaan jaoge to maan jaoge.” I turn my face to the TV to watch and tear my eyes open – what a surprise! I start seeing Dev Anand in Harshad Mehta’s role. Chikna Chopra Dev Anand. Just imagine what Harshad Mehta’s dialogues would sound like with his own head-shaking lakbi and enjoy the sheer entertainment.
Later I saw this same Dev Anand in the role of Akhandanand Tripathi in Mirzapur. How would it feel if Dev Anand appeared in the patient-serious form of Mafia-Don? I mean, how could Dev Anand have killed with a knife in his loose hand by walking sideways? Or how, as a don, would he have commanded his disciples to shout with guiding fingers?
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If God was happy today, he would be 100 years old. As such, he was never one to consider age. I think, if God Anand were today, he would have F. Like ‘Benjamin Button’ in Scott Fitzgerald’s world-famous story, the reverse math of age would have started. That means he would have celebrated his ninety-ninth birthday next year. When asked about his age at the time of the publication of his autobiography in 2007, he gave many different answers. Some were eighteen, some were a hundred, some were told that he was ageless. Has this hero, who is imaged as a chocolate hero, never realized that no one can be ‘ageless’; But still he continued to deny age. Because he believed in the youth of the mind. He used to say that if the mind is young, the body automatically stays young.
Hence, it is highly entertaining to imagine how an aged Dev Anand would have acted if he had appeared in a popular web series or movie these days. If he had been Baahubali, he would have achieved an exaggerated level of heroism while bringing the muffler-wearing Dev Anand before the eyes while lifting the magnificent Svilag. Or the amazing exercise of leg and neck exercises while running with arms loose saying ‘natu natu’ would have amazed the world. Abdul Karim Telgi who said “Mai Paisa Kamana Nahi, Banana Chahta Hu Darlig” would have done it with Dev Anand wearing his special hat or carrying a stick in his hand? What if he was in the movie ‘Pushpa’ to say “Zukega Nahi Sala”? Would his chappalsodi dance and crooked arrow have been more popular?
If Dev Anand, who works on the principle of ‘film majha if sab kuch mai’, had made ‘Dirty’, he would have held the dialogue ‘filme sirp tin chizo se chalti hai, entertainment, entertainment, entertainment’ with magnetic power.
He would never have been the father who said ‘Ja simran ja, ji le apni zindagi’, because that would have made him look old. Decline and old age were never attributes for him. Instead, he would have popularized the mandolin finger-wielding art and the applause-worthy incident of lifting a heroine half his weight apart on a running train.
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Who knows if Dev Anand would have been more interesting imagining him in all these films, or even more ridiculous in his original? But whatever it was, Dev Anand was an ideal hero in the minds of three generations of women, it is an indisputable fact. All three generations like grandmother, mother and daughter fell in love with him. In fact, she was in love with his looks. He wanted to maintain his chocolate hero position in people’s minds. And that is why even when he was eighty years old no one could ever see Dev Ananda in plain clothes, wearing a robe and slippers. Many young women hoped to see the god Anand in the striped pajama and banyan; But he never appeared even to their milkman in that guise. He always looked the same, scarf, polished shiny shoes, hat, oversized collar. Looking at Dev Anand, one realizes that the tradition of our leaders falling in love with their image is very old.
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If Dev Anand had to fight like the current hero, how would he have done it? Showing off the chest ribs or to the tense background music that goes with ‘Aa Bishum.. Aa Bishum..’? Overall, Hanamari in Dev Anand’s film was a strange type. In it, a fair-skinned Lukkad-Lappu like Dev Anand bowing down to a group of pale monstrous bodies before the heroine is a wonderful form. It is not that Dev Anand has not played bad roles. On the other hand, the hero before Dev Anand was Ashok Kumar. On screen, Ashok Kumar is easy-going, polite, poor, upright, etc.; But God Anand came with a cigarette in his lips, hitting the wallet, shaking the culture and sanskar. Remember Dev Anand from ‘Baaji’, ‘Kaala Bazaar’, ‘House Number 44’, ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Jal’. He played a hero with all the flaws; But still neither Dev Anand the person nor the hero portrayed by him was ever seen as evil by the audience. His acting was such that it was impossible to make him seem evil. Even though the acting is not very good, it is only Dev Anand who has occupied the position of superstar on the strength of his face and luck.
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We all know lawyers who wear black coats. There is no question of giving up on them; But Dev Anand’s young woman wearing a black coat was said to be so much in love. There used to be a huge crowd on the streets to see his appearance. So he has to change the road. Then he got bored and finally stopped wearing the black coat. I have heard many happy stories of young women who find God in their boyfriends and husbands. For example, many young women married lawyers’ sons, and on that occasion, they would get to see black coats every day. Young men also kept a hair cock for their beloved, wife as God Anand likes it. Dev Anand’s teeth burst with joy. She was seen smiling. Many young women were also worried about it. An aunt of our acquaintance said that before the marriage, the husband made a condition that he will marry only if he has a cracked tooth. In the end, the uncle had knocked out a tooth to marry the aunt. The eruption of the tooth remained the same; But what would the aunt have done when the cock on the uncle’s head went and there was no hair?
Dev Anand came in those days when actors like Dilip Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Raj Kapoor were ruling the film industry at the same time. He didn’t have Dilip Kumar’s acting chops or Raj Kapoor’s ‘Chaplin’ swagger; But he was fully aware of what he had. He had a face. He had said in an interview that even when he was in school, girls used to follow him. He used this face, the innocence on it. His gesticulations, shrugging his shoulders, letting his arms loose, turning his neck were what he used as acting. So much so, people started imitating it. He played the role of a soldier, he also played the role of a gangster; But he never felt brave. On the contrary, it seemed like a joke. His act of speaking as if it was ringing in the ears was considered by many to be a great dialogue throw. In this way, it would have fit perfectly in today’s web series, because nowadays, where do you understand the dialogues without watching the subtitles? He would never have graced Rama or Vishnu in a mythological film; But because of his sweet face, people would have liked to see Indra or Krishna.
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Dev Anand got one of the best songs. Be it Rafi, Kishore, Manna Dey or even Talat or Hemant Kumar as a playback singer, the expression on the face is the same. There are expressions on the face that make some love songs seem like devotional songs; But Dev Anand knew music. It can be seen from the movement of Dev Anand’s lips while the song is going on. Dev Anand has done many movies with amazing music. The cigarette smoker looked at his hazy appearance in the film, saying that in those days, young women would insist on their boyfriends smoking cigarettes. After looking at Dev Anand, people started to know that men are also beautiful. His romance was soft, it seemed to be sloppy. Dev Anand, who loves without fuss, who wears clothes, makes his wishes, is loved by women, because once the bus leaves, who will run after her, once married, there is a tribe of husbands who will pay attention to the wife. Then at such a time, it would be surprising if God Anand, who sings songs like ‘Abhi Na Jao Chhodkar’, ‘Shokhion Me Ghola Jaye’, ‘Fulon Ke Rang Se’, ‘Pal Bhar Ke Liye’, does not feel like the king of his dreams. Even if he doesn’t even look at the heroine while singing. Most of the time he has forgotten the heroine in most of the songs. It is sung as if it were a ‘solo’ song; But the ladies still liked his rapid fire round running style and toothy grin. Sweater designs like his were made by wives for their husbands. Used to watch movies many times to remember these designs. Scarves like his were used as gifts for lovers. Watching Dev Anand’s films was the joy of turning the tables on the audience. Many of the songs depicted on Dev Anand must have been seen by the young women of that time in dreams of their lover in the village.
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Even today, it is questionable whether he would have played such dreamy roles or would have played the role of a strongman like Nawazuddin Siddiqui or KK Menon. What if they did, is a bigger question. The way he walks in the song ‘Dekhne Mein Bhola Hai’, if he had walked in any song these days, he would have been labeled ‘different’; But in spite of all this, God would have remained happy beyond that – because of his vindictive attitude. It is important to know what suits you, as well as what does not suit you. Did Anand know that? That’s why he didn’t have the beginnings of a rural role or a mythological role? Two rupees lost in our pocket, maid left work, wife quarreled, Indian team lost the match with Bangladesh, call center received too many calls, didn’t get free coriander with vegetables.. for any reason we get angry, fight, complain to God; But God Anand remained happy as the name suggests. Many films failed, but he did not fail. He rose again and again. The money earned from the film kept pouring into the film itself. He continued to cherish his beauty, he continued to love himself.
In ‘Guide’, he has said, ‘Nah Sukh Hai, Na Dukh Hai, Na Din Hai, Na Dunya, Na Insan, Na Bhagwan, Sirp Main Hoo, Main Hoo, Main Hoo.’
That is why even after his death today, on his 100th birthday, he remains with us.